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Žerjav, Managers Agree Cap on Social Contributions Needed

Ljubljana, 16 February (STA) - The introduction of a cap on social security contributions must be among the government's priorities for improving the business environment in Slovenia, the management board of the Manager Association and Economic Development and Technology Minister Radovan Žerjav, who attended their session, agreed on Thursday.

Žerjav, who took part in the meeting as part of his activities after assuming the office, told the participants that the new government would introduce concrete measures to reassure the financial markets and tackle the continuing downgrades of Slovenia's ratings.

The government will first draft a supplementary budget that will affect all portfolios, including the economy ministry, Žerjav said.

He explained that the government would nonetheless push through measures that would help the economy, including measures that will drive down labour costs, provide tax breaks on investments and manage the state's share in projects financed with EU funds.

Žerjav pointed to the cap on social security contributions as one of the first measures that would allow companies to employ quality staff, adding that the introduction of the cap would be followed by changes to the income tax brackets.

The association said it backed the social cap, an important development measure, which was also in line with the social partners' policies aimed at reducing labour costs..

"The lack of such an instrument negatively affects Slovenia's competitiveness in attracting quality foreign investments...and the competitiveness of Slovenian companies in comparison to international competition," the association said in a press release.

Žerjav meanwhile said that the government would draft a list of priorities in line with the coalition agreement within a month, together with the supplementary budget.

The minister also called for the creation of a joint work group that would draft proposals for tackling concrete priorities, a move that was greeted by the association, which said that there was not enough cooperation in the past.

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